Ireland fans Ryan Lally and James McDonnell. INPHO/Ryan Byrne
On the rise

Need something to cheer about? Ireland have moved up in the FIFA rankings

Is that not the best news you’ve heard all day?

IRELAND HAVE HALTED their slide down the FIFA rankings – albeit without playing.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side began 2012 in 22nd position but, after three defeats at Euro 2012 was followed by the 6-1 annihilation by Germany in Dublin, by December had fallen to 42nd – their lowest end-of-year ranking since 2006.

However, despite the fact that they have featured since a 1-0 loss to Greece in November, the Boys in Green have moved up one place and now sit just behind Haiti, African champions Zambia, Turkey and Bolivia.


It is all unchanged at the top of the table with Spain officially the world’s best team and Germany, Argentina, Italy and Columbia making up the top five. England, meanwhile, are in sixth place, Scotland and Wales move up to 69th and 81st respectively, while Northern Ireland are down in 98th spot.

On Monday, Trapattoni will name his squad for the upcoming friendly international with Poland on February 6. Ireland then face Sweden and Austria in crucial qualifiers the following month.

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